Midway, Dauntless Victory
Fresh Perspectives on America's Seminal Naval Victory of World War II
Peter C. Smith

Are you an expert on the battle of Midway, read the book. If you don’t know anything about Midway, read the book and if you are like me, somewhere in between, read the book. It was a long time ago since I found such a deeply researched book still easy to read, actually quite exiting even though all the time you knew the end. In addition Mr. Smith succeeds in clearly explaining details such as the layout of carriers and the radio equipment in aircraft without losing the overall picture. Impressive! In addition he is critical to the witnesses, from both sides, he himself is quoting.

The book is divided in four parts, the first part “Build-up” describes the prelude including intelligence or in some cases lack of intelligence. Interesting is actually how little the US knew about the Japanese contradictory to popular belief.

The second part, “The battle commences” surprisingly enough describes the first parts of the battle. The failure of USAAC, the horrible loss rates for the Devastators even the lack of success for the submarines involved in Midway are clearly described among many other things until the moment where the Dauntless saves the day.

Part three, “Duel to the death” excitingly shows the Japanese riposte and the closing phase of the battle also describes not only the successful attacks but also the failures. This includes attacks on smaller ships.

The fourth part, The Midway legacy” not only describes the wartime and the post-war lessons learned but also how the battle and the war in the Pacific were perceived by other allies. Also some “what ifs” are mentioned.

One interesting annex describes Midway from the point of view of the media

Is there nothing I dislike about the book? Well, sometimes the footnotes cover more than half the pages and some of the biographies there could be omitted or put in an annex.

Without hesitation I give “Midway, Dauntless Victory” five out of five.

(Reviewed by Hans Strelow)
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

Buy the book using the links below and you help support the site: